Tue, 23 May 2000

Volunteers clear garbage on Bidadari Island

JAKARTA (JP): High school students, teachers and other environmental volunteers clear garbage from the Beaches of Bidadari Island in Jakarta Bay.

Sponsored by Unesco, LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences) and GE Elfun (a volunteer group formed by General Electric), the activity is part of a campaign to instill the spirit of cleanliness and conservation among students.

About 60 students and teachers from six high schools in Jakarta took part in the one day program on Saturday, that also included discussions on preserving the environment.

At almost the stroke of noon, about 50 high school students accompanied by teachers and volunteers moved from the conference hall and gathered on the beaches of Bidadari Island.

Defying the blistering mid-day sun, the high-spirited group collected garbage dumped by visitors or washed ashore from Jakarta. Carrying bags made of old newspapers, they separated the "organic" rubbish from the "inorganic" as volunteers and teachers asked them.

"We mean to do something real like cleaning the environment rather than organizing seminars, which often lacks concrete follow-up actions," said Ani Raharjo of GE Elfun.

The trip to the Thousand Islands also took the students to the nearby Onrust Island to have a close look at the ruins of historical sites there. (pan)